Winterize A Yamaha 650 Custom

Proper winterizing will ensure you’re ready to ride come spring.

Harsh winters often mean your Yamaha 650 Custom will sit, not ridden and not started, for several months. When the temperatures start creeping above freezing, you’re eager to hop on the bike for the first ride of the season. But if you don’t properly winterize the bike, that first ride may have to wait until after a trip to the dealer’s service department. You can ensure that your bike is ready to ride in the spring by winterizing it properly.



1. Store your 650 Custom in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight. Store your bike away from windows since direct sunlight will cause the temperatures to rise and fall during the day and lead to condensation and rust.

2. Start your Yamaha and let it idle to normal running temperature. This will make the oil drain more easily and will remove internal moisture that developed since your last ride. Drain the old oil from the crankcase and dispose of it responsibly. Remove the old oil filter. Install a new oil filter and put the oil drain bolt back on. Refill the crankcase with new oil and put the oil filler cap back on.

3. Remove the spark plugs. Pour a teaspoonful of clean engine oil into each plughole. With the 650 Custom in top gear, turn the real wheel by hand several revolutions. This coats the cylinder walls, piston rings and valve seats. Replace the spark plugs.

4. Loosen the drain bolts on each carburetor and drain the gasoline. Fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer. A full gas tank will prevent moisture from developing and rusting the inside of the tank.

5. Wash, wax and dry the bike thoroughly. Also, lube all cables and the pivot points of all levers, pedals and the side stand. Spray a coating of lubricating oil like (WD40 or equivalent) on chrome to prevent rust. Pay special attention to the mufflers and gently push a plastic shopping bag into the end of each muffler, covering each with another plastic bag.

6. Make sure your tires are fully inflated. Position two 1/2-inch thick squares of cardboard on the floor and roll the bike onto them. Keeping the tires off the floor will keep them from freezing temperatures that can cause the rubber to crack or degrade.

7. Attach a battery tender to the battery. If an electrical outlet isn’t convenient to your Yamaha 650 Custom, or if the temperatures inside the garage will dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the battery and store it separately from the bike.

8. Cover the bike with a motorcycle cover, not a sheet or tarp. Motorcycle covers are made of porous materials to allow moisture to escape. Using a tarp or sheet will trap moisture on the bike.

9. Check your tire pressure come spring and inflate as needed. Give your Yamaha 650 Custom a thorough inspection and be sure to take those plastic bags out of the mufflers. Then fire it up and ride safely.